Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Top 5 players to watch out for in TUR vs ITA: Turkey and Italy will contest the opening game of Euro 2020 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Friday night. Both teams have been drawn alongside the likes of Switzerland and Wales in Group A of the tournament.
Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: As the teams prepare to take centre-stage on Friday, let’s take a closer look at the five players to keep an eye out for in the Euro 2020 opener between Turkey and Italy.
Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Top 5 players to watch out for in TUR vs ITA
Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Key Player 1
Ciro Immobile (Italy)
The Lazio marksman must surely have haunting memories of the greatest sporting tragedy that happened to Italy in 2017, when they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Immobile was on the receiving end of stern criticism as Sweden dumped the Azzurri out of the playoff for qualification.
Since then, Ciro Immobile has seemingly turned things around at club level. The 31-year-old equalled the record for the most number of Serie A goals (36) during the 2019-20 season and subsequently won the European Golden Boot ahead of Robert Lewandowski (34).
In what could be considered a dip in form, Ciro Immobile still fired in 20 goals for Lazio last season as they finished sixth in Serie A. Andrea Belotti was Italy’s top-scorer during the Euro qualifiers, but his recent struggles at Torino could mean Immobile will almost definitely make the starting eleven instead. This could be the ideal opportunity for Immobile to try and make amends for the past.
Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Key Player 2
Caglar Soyuncu (Turkey)
The centre-back is an integral member of the Turkey squad at Euro 2020. Soyuncu, who is one of several Turkish players making a considerable impact at overseas clubs, has enjoyed a remarkable season at Leicester City.
While the 25-year-old missed out on guiding the Foxes to Champions League qualification, he did play a part in ending the club’s FA Cup drought. Turkey will be hoping Soyuncu can replicate similar form at Euro 2020.
Understandably as well, since he anchored a defence that conceded the joint-fewest amount of goals during the qualifiers for the tournament. Owing to his tall stature and aerial prowess, Turkey will know they can rely on Soyuncu to make an impact from set-pieces at either ends.
Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Key Player 3
Nicolo Barella (Italy)
The 24-year-old is set for his debut appearance at the Euros this summer. However, under the guidance of Mancini, Barella has shown signs of growing into a player beyond his age. Since their association in the national team, the midfielder has scored five goals and is essentially one of the vital cogs in the side.
Barella provides balance to the 4-3-3 system that can also morph into a 3-5-2 and looks set to play an influential role throughout Italy’s upcoming continental campaign. With 3 goals and 9 assists from midfield during Inter’s Serie A triumph last season, Barella will be keen to carry it forward and announce himself at Euro 2020.
Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Key Player 4
Burak Yilmaz (Turkey)
The veteran striker is one of three Lille players from Turkey to keep a close eye on at Euro 2020. While defender Zeki Celik and midfielder Yusuf Yazici also played a substantial part in guiding Lille to a shock Ligue 1 triumph, Yilmaz lead the charge with 16 goals to his name.
The 35-year-old has 67 caps at senior level for Turkey and will captain the side at Euro 2020. Although he scored just once during their qualifying rounds, Turkey are expected to rely heavily on Yilmaz at the competition owing to his recent form. However, he will almost definitely have his task cut-out against the defensively solid Italy on Friday.
Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Key Player 5
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)
The Italian has been a constant in the summer transfer rumour mill after opting against extending his contract in with Milan. Donnarumma is available as a free agent at the end of his contract this month and will be hoping to make an impression at the Euros to woo potential suitors.
Paris Saint-Germain have been heavily linked with the shot-stopper and should Donnarumma light up Euro 2020, the Ligue 1 giants could face competition from elsewhere for his signature. With the experience of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in front of him, Donnarumma could be part of one of the stingiest defences in the competition this time around.